January is key for Greens in bid to beat the drop
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Head coach Ewen Boyd says January will be crucial to the Greens' bid to beat the drop from National League Three.
Caithness went into the Christmas break having finally clambered out of the relegation zone.
However, with their league campaign resuming this weekend when Murrayfield Wanderers travel up from the capital, the fixture card has thrown up a schedule that could have a big impact on their survival prospects.
After their match on Saturday with their Edinburgh visitors, Boyd's men have a relegation battle double-header in store with matches against fellow strugglers.
A trip to Strathmore is on the cards next week, with another journey on the road seven days later to face bottom-of-the-table Carrick to fulfil a fixture that the Greens pulled out of earlier this season after injuries had made fielding a team impossible.
Boyd realises just how big a task he has on his hands but knows full well that if his men can pull away from Carrick and Perthshire – and bring Strathmore closer to the drop zone – the great escape may well be on.
He said: "January is a big month for us as we are playing teams who are closer to us in the table.
"We've a home game against Murrayfield first and we're hoping to build on our recent performances at Millbank to hopefully get a win this weekend.
We're looking to improve our performances away from home.
"Strathmore and Carrick follow after that and we'll know where we are by the end of the month in terms of our bid to avoid relegation.
"If we can get a result against Murrayfield then we've got to take our 'Millbank form' on the road, as we've not done too well away from home.
"Obviously we've had injuries, and work commitments have ensured that numbers for away trips have been low. However, wins at Strathmore and Carrick would give us a huge lift.
"We've taken some heavy defeats on the road but we're in a new year now and we're looking to improve our performances away from home."
It has been a tough season for Caithness but Boyd says morale among the squad is high.
He added: "The Christmas break has given our injured players some time to recover. While all might not be back with us soon, it will have helped.
"The first half of a season usually sees fixtures come in thick and fast. But the second half has games more evenly spread out.
"We're a squad in transition but we are trying to create a positive identity that players can buy into.
"Confidence is high within the squad and the boys are looking forward to pushing on and helping the club get results in the second half of the season."
Saturday, January, 11
(Kick-offs 2pm unless stated otherwise)
National League Three
Ardrossan Academicals v Howe of Fife
Berwick v Greenock Wanderers
Caithness v Murrayfield Wanderers (1pm)
Hillhead/Jordanhill v Lasswade
West of Scotland v Strathmore